Israel Captures Gaza Aid Boat

Aid will be delivered, members handed to police: navy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2009 7:42 AM CST
Lebanese activists load a ship with medicine, food, toys, books and stationery as they prepare to sail to the Gaza Strip.   (STR)
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(Newser) – The Israeli navy today intercepted a ship delivering 60 tons of supplies from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip and said it is towing the vessel into an Israeli port. The ship left Lebanon two days ago in a bid to defy Israel's blockade of Gaza. Arab TV reporters who are aboard claim the Israelis fired at the ship before boarding it and beating passengers.

The Israeli military said the ship's passengers would be handed over to police and the aid transferred to Gaza by land. Among the 18 passengers was an 86-year-old priest who, while serving as an archbishop in Jerusalem, was convicted in Israeli courts of using his diplomatic status to smuggle arms to Palestinian militants. Muslim clerics and a British activist are also aboard.